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Carolina Wolf (Hogna carolinensis)

The Carolina Wolf Spider is an American wolf spider, and one of the 2,200+ wolf spider species found across the world. These nocturnal arachnids are primarily sighted in midsummer nights, especially around June. They are exceptionally skilled hunters that can move very fast, and seek out their prey and attack, rather than making webs and waiting for them to get trapped.

Scientific Classification

Carolina Wolf Spider

Physical Description & Identification

Adults

Size: The females are much larger than the males, with the former’s body length typically being 25 mm (0.98 in), and the latter’s 19 mm (0.75 in), excluding their legs.

Carolina Wolf Spider Size

Color: The dorsal side of the body is black to brownish-black, while the ventral side is typically solid black; the joints of the eight legs are also usually black underneath, while the body is covered with fine slate-grey to silver hair. The color of the fangs is bright orange (probably an adaptation to warn any enemies/predators).

Other Characteristic Features: Being poor climbers, they are usually seen at floor-level, hiding under rocks or holes, and making their burrows in the ground (rather than sewing hanging webs).

Carolina Wolf Spider Picture

Eggs

The tiny eggs are wrapped in a silken sac. Before laying the eggs, the female digs a hole in the ground around 8 inches deep, lining it with spider silk and finally covering with debris from plants. The eggs are then laid inside this burrow. As and when it moves, the female carries the entire sac on its back until the baby spiders hatch out.

Carolina Wolf Spider Eggs

Spiderlings

Spiderlings are born helpless, depending on their mother for protection. Instantly after they crawl out of their silken case, they clamber up the legs of their mother, crowding on the underside of its abdomen. The female spider would then carry the young ones for a few weeks until they are large enough to be independent and defend themselves.

Carolina Wolf Spider Spiderlings

How Poisonous is the South Carolina Wolf Spider Bite

These wolf spiders avoid contact with humans or anything larger than themselves. They are not aggressive, nor do they attack humans, or bite them, unless they feel threatened, or cornered. They do have large fangs and are venomous, but their venom is not very dangerous to humans and is of no serious medical significance. However, their bite is as painful as the sting of a bee or wasp.

South Carolina Wolf Spider

Carolina Wolf Spider Image

Quick Facts

Lifespan Males typically live for a year or less, while females can live for a few years
Range/Distribution Across the U.S. and southern Canada
Habitat Both in the coastal and the inland areas including woodland, shrublands, alpine meadows, wet coastal forest, suburban gardens, and homes around human habitats
Common predators Spider-eating birds, wasps, different species of amphibians and small reptiles
Diet Primarily grasshoppers, crickets, and other such insects/arthropods

Carolina Wolf Spider Photo

Did You Know

  • Declared in 2000, the species is the official state spider of the state of South Carolina, USA.
  • The large eyes of the spider reflect light brightly and can be spotted more easily at night with the help of a flashlight.
  • They are the largest of all the wolf spiders found in North America.

Image Credits: Bugguide.net, Ourbreathingplanet.com, Lh3.ggpht.com, Infinitespider.com, Mariamitchell.org, Dpughphoto.com, Nature.mdc.mo.gov

The Carolina Wolf Spider is an American wolf spider, and one of the 2,200+ wolf spider species found across the world. These nocturnal arachnids are primarily sighted in midsummer nights, especially around June. They are exceptionally skilled hunters that can move very fast, and seek out their prey and attack, rather than making webs and waiting for them to get trapped.

Carolina Wolf Spider

Physical Description & Identification

Adults

Size: The females are much larger than the males, with the former’s body length typically being 25 mm (0.98 in), and the latter’s 19 mm (0.75 in), excluding their legs.

Carolina Wolf Spider Size

Color: The dorsal side of the body is black to brownish-black, while the ventral side is typically solid black; the joints of the eight legs are also usually black underneath, while the body is covered with fine slate-grey to silver hair. The color of the fangs is bright orange (probably an adaptation to warn any enemies/predators).

Other Characteristic Features: Being poor climbers, they are usually seen at floor-level, hiding under rocks or holes, and making their burrows in the ground (rather than sewing hanging webs).

Carolina Wolf Spider Picture

Eggs

The tiny eggs are wrapped in a silken sac. Before laying the eggs, the female digs a hole in the ground around 8 inches deep, lining it with spider silk and finally covering with debris from plants. The eggs are then laid inside this burrow. As and when it moves, the female carries the entire sac on its back until the baby spiders hatch out.

Carolina Wolf Spider Eggs

Spiderlings

Spiderlings are born helpless, depending on their mother for protection. Instantly after they crawl out of their silken case, they clamber up the legs of their mother, crowding on the underside of its abdomen. The female spider would then carry the young ones for a few weeks until they are large enough to be independent and defend themselves.

Carolina Wolf Spider Spiderlings

How Poisonous is the South Carolina Wolf Spider Bite

These wolf spiders avoid contact with humans or anything larger than themselves. They are not aggressive, nor do they attack humans, or bite them, unless they feel threatened, or cornered. They do have large fangs and are venomous, but their venom is not very dangerous to humans and is of no serious medical significance. However, their bite is as painful as the sting of a bee or wasp.

South Carolina Wolf Spider

Carolina Wolf Spider Image

Quick Facts

Lifespan Males typically live for a year or less, while females can live for a few years
Range/Distribution Across the U.S. and southern Canada
Habitat Both in the coastal and the inland areas including woodland, shrublands, alpine meadows, wet coastal forest, suburban gardens, and homes around human habitats
Common predators Spider-eating birds, wasps, different species of amphibians and small reptiles
Diet Primarily grasshoppers, crickets, and other such insects/arthropods

Carolina Wolf Spider Photo

Did You Know

  • Declared in 2000, the species is the official state spider of the state of South Carolina, USA.
  • The large eyes of the spider reflect light brightly and can be spotted more easily at night with the help of a flashlight.
  • They are the largest of all the wolf spiders found in North America.

Image Credits: Bugguide.net, Ourbreathingplanet.com, Lh3.ggpht.com, Infinitespider.com, Mariamitchell.org, Dpughphoto.com, Nature.mdc.mo.gov

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